Information for Contractors

Before Construction

Registering as an RMWB Builder

Homeowners will be seeking a reputable and skilled home builder to ensure the success of their families’ rebuilds. In order for your business to appear on the Registry of Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Builders being compiled by the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs you must complete the information disclosure forms. Builders must submit these forms to the New Home Buyer Protection Office (NHBPO) before they can get a building permit. Once the forms are reviewed for completeness and accuracy, they are published online in the RMWB Builder Registry.

Homeowners are being told to ensure their builder is on the RMWB Builder Registry and that their Alberta New Home Warranty has been registered. It is important for you to ensure your business is registered so you appear in searches performed by potential clients.

Why is this Important?

Because homeowners are being told to seek out contractors from these lists it is imperative you register with both to ensure you are considered by local homeowners. This will also provide transparency and accountability to your potential clients.

Negotiating and Signing a Fair Contract

A professional builder should always provide homeowners with a written contract that both parties must sign before work begins. This is not something a homeowner should have to request from you. For complex repairs, renovations and custom home construction, the contract can become fairly lengthy and will need to include full plans and specifications. A written contract — not a verbal one — states your role and the homeowner’s role, as well as the methods of recourse in the event of dispute or damage.

Why is this Important?

Your contract protects you in the event of a dispute with the homeowner.

Getting Your Permits

The RMWB Planning and Development Department is the authority responsible of issuing permits for new construction and regulating work to maintain quality and safety. To build, you will need multiple permits, including a Development Permit and a Building Permit, as well as electrical, plumbing and gas permits. Contractors must obtain their permits for completing any work. Penalties will be applied for work commencing without permits. Contractors are not permitted to work under a homeowner permit. Permits will be cancelled if a contractor is found working under a homeowner permit.

All properties affected by the wildfire have been exempted from permitting fees. You should not be charging clients for any permitting fees in any quotes because you will not be charged those fees when you apply for permits.

Why is this Important?

Permits verify that your new home is designed safely and does not pose any risk to you and your family. It is illegal to build without proper permits.

During Construction

Understanding Builders' Liens

A builders' lien may be placed on a home by contractors, subcontractors or suppliers who are not paid for their services. The claim for payment owed is a charge against the property and is designed to protect contractors, labourers, and suppliers who have provided work or material to a construction project. Should a lien be placed on a property where you are working you are advised to seek legal advice. Homeowners can protect themselves with a holdback against the work to be completed (an agreement to withhold a percentage of your total payment until such a time that liens cannot be filed on your home).

Why is this Important?

Understanding liens allows you to act proactively and understand the action that could be taken should contractors, labourers, or suppliers not be paid for their work.

Insurance and Workers Compensation

Did you know that a homeowner can be held liable if a contractor is injured while working on their property? Homeowners are encouraged to protect themselves and your workers by ensuring they have appropriate insurance and Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) coverage before you begin working on their property. Should you have your own WCB coverage, you should be communicating that with the homeowner at the time you sign your contract. As the contractor you can remind the homeowner of the importance of their responsibility to have general contractors insurance before they sign the contract.

Why is this Important?

If you are not the prime contractor on the project or the main contractor has not accepted liability for on-site injuries, the homeowner is liable if a labourer is injured. Ensuring that all contractors have appropriate insurance coverage will protect the homeowner and the contractors if something goes wrong.

Winter Maintenance Subzones 1 & 2 are active Jan. 20 - 24.